Tag: Death Industrial (Page 3 of 3)

The Vomit Arsonist – Meditations on Giving up Completely – Review

Artist: The Vomit Arsonist
Album: Meditations on Giving up Completely
Release date: 5 May 2017
Label: Malignant Records

01. Meditations
02. What’s Left
03. It Never Ends
04. On Living
05. When the Last Flame has been Extinguished
06. There is Nothing Here
07. Sick Over Trying

Death industrial powerhouse, The Vomit Arsonist, is back with another album on Malignant Records which is sure to invoke revulsion and terror. The Vomit Arsonist has been through many phases and progressions as an artist over the last decade. Yet, one thing always holds true, his sense of loathing and abhorrence toward the modern world. This seems to hold especially true for his latest Malignant release.

Owner of Danvers State Recordings, Andy Grant knows what he wants out of music, and he knows how to bring his visions to reality. Grant’s own label focuses on cassette releases, one of which was previously reviewed here; Pulsed in a Dull Glass Bell, a harsher project by R.C. Kozletsky which falls somewhere between Apocryphos and Shock Frontier.

Meditations on Giving up Completely is quite possibly the best work to date by The Vomit Arsonist, bringing forth all the forms of aural assault that Grant has honed over the years. The result is close to perfection of the death industrial sound.

On Meditations, The Vomit Arsonist has finally gone too far in the sense of mental stability. It could be the case that Meditations is only meant as a representation of the mind of the author but it does seem to speak on a grander scale.  The album seems as if his thought process has moved from individual despair to a loathing and invocation of an impending doom for the entire planet. Always one to appreciate nihilism, The Vomit Arsonist writhes and seethes within an apocalyptic vision of total death and destruction, the final chapter for the entirety of Earth’s inhabitants.

If The Vomit Arsonist found and learned to live with himself on Only Red, Meditations could be seen as the first studio album where Andy Grant is able to totally and unquestioningly be himself. Meditations is that moment when an artist is in full control, knows what they want and delivers it without ever skipping a beat. While his career has been rather long, and quite illustrious, Meditations may be the masterpiece, the total acceptance of himself and his capabilities.

Meditations has a cinematic edge which flows through it. One gets the idea that Grant sees himself as a bystander in the final war, taking cover in the basement as the world tears itself to pieces just outside his door. Yet at the same time, it’s also easy to imagine him as taking to the frontline in this battle. His vocals shouting orders to his followers as an apocalyptic destruction ensues. This dichotomy could be intentional or subliminal, he could be characterizing the views of two seperate people, or showing his own mixed emotions with regards to fighting an internal or external battle.

The digipak, released through Malignant Records is quite the high quality release. A glossy black and gray finish displays a distorted image, which appears to be a man either standing on a bridge or a dam. The thoughts in his head can be deduced from the album content. According to Grant, there will be a cassette extension of Meditations released on Smrt Productions in the near future. After hearing the entirety of Meditations on Giving up Completely on multiple playthroughs, I’m sure readers will be as eager to hear some extra material as I am.

The Vomit Arsonist should find the acceptance of many varied listener bases with this release. For death industrial fans, there is everything to love about this sonic assault. There is very little downtime and from the vocals to the booming bass The Vomit Arsonist delivers with perfection. Dark ambient fans of the strictest sense will find Meditations to be a bit overwhelming and a bit too loud, but those on the periphery who love blending of styles and a harsher edge to their soundscapes will welcome Meditations happily. Even moving into the power electronics and industrial scenes, Meditations should hold its own, standing up to the greatest of critiques.

Realizing himself, honestly, over the last few years, The Vomit Arsonist has no scruples with doubling down on his style. This is where he feels he belongs, and it really shows on Meditations. Everything done previously by this artist seems to come to a head on Meditations. Listeners should immediately recognize the intensity of the release, an intensity which rarely is diminished through the entirety of the album. I would highly recommend Meditations on Giving up Completely to any readers of This Is Darkness who don’t mind a bit of extra heavy distortion and apocalyptic martial vocal tones. If Meditations is the soundtrack to the end, then we are in for a hell of a climax.

Written by: Michael Barnett

Husere Grav – Entropy & Illusion – Review

Artist: Husere Grav
Album: Entropy & Illusion
Release date: 20 January 2017
Label: Annihilvs Power Electronix (APEX)

Husere Grav is a black ambient project that has been making its rounds through the darker underground musical scenes for the last decade. Their sound takes on the form of a blackened meditative ambient session. Focus on harsh sweeps of sound texture fill the music with a doom and gloom element which saturates ever inch of itself.

Their latest album, Entropy & Illusion has made its release on the highly respected Annihilvs Power Electronix (APEX) label. Annihilvs has spent two decades now creating albums which are as dark and disturbing as they are beautiful. Orchestrated by the man behind Theologian, often referred to as Theologian Prime, Annihilvs has a relatively small, but highly influential discography. So when the latest album by Husere Grav released on Annihilvs, it is safe to say that they found a good amount of attention from those with the more harshly inclined palates.

Entropy & Illusion has been compared to the early works of Jarl, which seems a fitting association. The sounds are dense, dark and ugly. But the production is deliberate and precise. The album, even considering its thick and harsh characteristics, takes on a meditative element. The listener can sit back, eyes closed, and allow the textures to overtake their consciousness. Each track brings them a bit closer in touch with this dark and menacing spirit world. While I do refer to this album repeatedly as being on the harsher side of the ambient spectrum, it rarely, if ever, moves into that dreaded harsh noise wall territory. The sounds manage to keep their composure and build slowly off of one another, creating a setting encompassed with a sense of death and desperation, while simultaneously holding an element of beauty.

If your musical tastes lie closer to the death industrial, power electronics and harsh noise wall side of the ambient world, then this album will surely be to your liking. It holds similarities to these other genres, while still keeping its roots in a black / dark / ritual ambient foundation. For fans of drone music, this will likely be a welcome album. It seems to fit into that drone ambient territory, yet has a thick and menacing lifeforce which is often lacking with those sort of albums.

Released in a 4-panel digipak through Annihilvs, the quality of the physical album is noteworthy. The album art takes on a simple yet haunting setting of death and decay. Bound prisoners and skeletal remains fill the graphical designs of this album, giving listeners an immediate sense of the bleak nature of this project. The album also comes with a bonus collaboration with Theologian. A set of tracks which Theologian has re-imagined and built upon with his own unique manipulative style.

I would highly recommend Entropy & Illusion to any fans of the blackened side of dark ambient. This is a fine introduction to the Annihilvs label for those few readers who still haven’t been introduced to APEX. If this album is to your liking, there are surely many more releases on APEX which should also be considered. As usual, APEX has released a noteworthy album which gets better with each listen.

Written by: Michael Barnett

Paranoia Inducta – From The Depths – Review

Artist: Paranoia Inducta
Album: From The Depths
Release date: 12 March 2017
Label: Rage In Eden

01. Desolation Zone
02. Today We Will All Die
03. Whispers And Cogs
04. And Soon The Darkness
05. From The Depths
06. The Noonday Demon
07. Sanctuary Of Madness
08. Witchtrap
09. I’m Just Pain
10. Children Of Saturn
11. My Own Purgatory
12. Shadow People
13. Near-Death Experience
14. Locked-in Syndrome

Paranoia Inducta is a vastly diverse musical project, helmed by Anthony Armageddon Destroyer. While there have been guest musicians on his albums, Paranoia Inducta is mainly a one man project. Entering the dark / industrial / noise ambient scene back in 2004 with his debut Sanctified Destruction, Paranoia Inducta has shown a diversity from its very inception.

Listening back through the discography of Paranoia Inducta, one may find examples of many different musical genres. Everything from sacral choir music to ungodly guitar riffs paint a picture of a world on the brink of destruction. Paranoia Inducta call their style apocalyptic death industrial and for the most part this is a fitting tag.

Yet, the sounds of Paranoia Inducta go much further than would be expected from apocalyptic death industrial. There has always been a variety of styles in the project, but nowhere more than this present release of From The Depths. We can hear a beautiful if somber piano arrangement on “Today We Will All Die”. The track is truly enchanting, and yet all the while there are metallic echoes and dripping waters as if there is a grand piano slowly rotting away in the bowels of some old-world sewer system.

From The Depths stands as the finale to the trilogy of releases which began with Evil Angel in 2010, followed by Maze of Death in 2013, and closing with From The Depths in 2017. In their own words, “This is the story about loss, loneliness, despair and lack of hope.” This is surely an apt description of the themes presented on all three albums. The sense of loss and despair can only be felt after losing something worth holding onto. In this way we hear these beautiful section of music throughout the album serving as a reminder of a past which held the key to happiness. A past which will never return. A chapter closed. The present chapter holds no serenity. There is now only a deep sense of regret and resignation. Paranoia Inducta warns listeners of the album’s ability to induce a deep state of depression. Indeed, From The Depths writhes in depression. It showcases the disaster of the present, markedly diverging from the contentment of the past.

While the album seems to reflect inner turmoils, personal struggles, there is also a strong sense of religiosity. From the throat singing of “And Soon The Darkness” to the lovely female choral vocals of “From The Depths” we can sense that there is more to the story than just an interpersonal relationship souring. There seems to be an abandonment of faith added to the depression. As if God was invoked to bring about a happier scenario, yet the prayers fell on deaf ears. The reverent follower loses faith, falls from grace. This leaves them open to the darker strains of religion, the unholy rites of demonic resurrections. If God will not help, maybe his arch-nemesis will…

Paranoia Inducta covers much ground with From The Depths. It tells the closing of a story which clearly doesn’t have a happy ending. The technical talents of the artist are at an all time high on From The Depths. Each track feels unique, yet fits perfectly into the whole. Add to this successful combination of sounds the beautiful artwork and A5 digipak of the physical edition, and we are left with a powerful all-encompassing work of art. Paranoia Inducta has proven with From The Depths that they still have plenty of energy and potential for this almost 15 year old project. In fact, some of the best work may still be yet to come. Where the next chapter in the story of Paranoia Inducta will take us, we must wait to discover.

Written by: Michael Barnett

Frozen In Time: Weekly News 24 April 2017

This week we see a ton of new releases, announcements, and even a few more videos of full live performances! Be sure to check out the deals of the week at the bottom, as well as the reviews covered by This Is Darkness since last Monday!

Music Videos & Live Performances

I recently reviewed the side project of Grant Richardson, Atrox Pestis, which can be viewed here. His main musical outlet, Gnawed, recently performed in Queens, NYC at the release party for No Workers Paradise. The box set can be purchased here. His performance was captured for our viewing pleasure, so please enjoy!

Mebitek – “Mebistep (Beget Movement) Music Video Released
Something that is a rare occurrence for dark ambient music, a proper music video! Though to be far, Mebitek is also quite an unusual artist for the genre, as he incorporates many different styles of music into his sounds. Mebitek says about the concept for this video, “As an ancient, bizarre and grotesque craftsman, we were able to create God from our innards, shaping her-him into a stunning inanimated doll, which we can slithly feel but cannot own as a part of ourselves. We can just fear her-him, but always in chains we linger together until the end of time.”

The Vomit Arsonist
On the fringes of dark ambient and power electronics lies the genre of death industrial. This harsher, more industrial sister to dark ambient focuses on many of the same themes and uses many of the same techniques for sound-sculpting. Within this genre The Vomit Arsonist is one of the greats. Here is a full live performance by this gifted musician. Expect my review in the near future of his upcoming album Meditations On Giving Up Completely which will be released on 25 April! This particular concert is celebrating the release of the massive eight cassette box set recently released on Chthonic Streams.

New Releases & Pre-orders

Ah Cama-Sotz – New Album Released
A veteran on the dark ambient scene, producing music for the last 25 years, Belgian artist Ah Cama-Sotz has just released a new album which consists of remixed material. While some of these tracks may greatly stray from the usual dark ambient template, they are still a fine collection of remixes, certainly worthy of mention.

Biosphere – Pre-orders Available
One of the most well known and distinguished artists in the world of ambient music, Biosphere, has announced a new mini-album. The Petrified Forest is inspired by the movie of the same name, released in 1936 and directed by Archie Mayo. The album will be released on 12 May 2017

BVDUB – New Album Released
Epilogues For The End Of The Sky is the latest release on Glacial Movements. On this album, BVDUB delivers sounds which walk the line between beauty and a melancholic darkness. There are beats on many of the tracks, but they are subtle and sit well in the background.

Eighth Tower Records – New Compilation Announced
Metempsychosis, 3nd volume of “black series” by EIGHTH TOWER RECORDS, is now available for pre order. Expect another heavy dose of darkness from a combination of well known artists and others whose careers are just budding.

Jim Wylde – New Album Released
The latest ritual ambient offering from Sombre Soniks comes from the Canadian artist, Jim Wylde, best known for his project sp3ct3rs. Wylde says about the release, “The Death Swells is a work that was created over the course of a year. The focal point of each piece was meditations on death; from the act of dying, through to preparation rituals of the body and the notions of an afterlife. Most of the music on the album was created with a Korg EPS-1, Cathedral reverb, Deluxe Memory Boy and Oto Biscuit.”

Polterngeist – New Album Released
Levels of Perception is the third album by Polterngeist the side-project of the man behind UgasanieLevels of Perception takes a different direction from the main project, but still shows the same sense of subtlety and intricate layering for which Ugasanie is known.

Randal Collier-Ford – New Single Released
In preparation for his upcoming album, Randal Collier-Ford reveals the track “Apotheosis” created in collaboration with Northumbria. Randal shared a bit of information about this single and the upcoming release with This Is Darkness. “I made this track, initially, to give a throwback to the sound design style of The Architects, something far more drone-based, something slow building, with edited field recordings. I wanted to feature the blaring horns from”The Return”, as many people have expressed (during live shows, mostly, or just in person for people I have met) they enjoyed that detail in the track. But, thematically, it had a purpose in the track, and in that album. And, as this newest album is a 3rd entry in a trilogy that I’ve been building, and this track pulling back to that first album, I wanted to feature it again as it fit with the ‘story’ that has been happening thus far. But, outside the album/track themes, I’ve had an urge to continue working with members of Cryo Chamber, as I have done in the past. And when I came to Jim from Northumbria about finally working together, I mentioned that I loved his work in Nyarlathotep with the bowed guitars. He added such a rich, and cultural feel to the work he did, and I knew that I wanted it in this record. Not just because it sounds cool, but, again, it fit thematically.”

Sadistic Cult – Releases New Album
On ʍąµȿǿŁéƹ, Sadistic Cult deliver a haunting ambient black metal album which has plenty in common with dark and ritual ambient. Shifting drones and spine-tingling field recordings abound. Listen with the lights on.

VelgeNaturlig – Promo Video Released
The upcoming release on Winter Light, Opalescent Pust, has been revealed. The promo video gives us a hint of the mind bending soundscapes to be expected on the 10 May 2017 release of the album.

[ówt krì] – Releases New Album
[ówt krì] says about their new work on Sombre Soniks label, “[ówt krì] (phonetics of ”outcry”) is the main creative output for multi-instrumentalist, instrument builder and artist Kenneth Kovasin. Kenneth studies aural textures and contrasts and compiles them by utilizing different sources and effects. Since 2005 he has been perfecting his methods and finding new innovative sound sources and instruments for his recordings. Dark ambience and soundscapes have been the backbone for [ówt krì] through the years, even if the methods and instrumentation have become more refined. Psychological Warfare is a thick and brooding soundscape fueled by nightmares. The dramatic sounds and chanting vocals tie you to the grim swelling waves of ambience that leave you stranded in the coldness of space.”

Other News

Danica Swanson, the entity behind The Black Stone Hermitage and author of an upcoming book focusing specifically on dark ambient, gives us a proper introduction to the genre. After years of following dark ambient music, interviewing many of its most prominent artists and studying the history and inner workings of the genre, Danica Swanson is uniquely positioned to speak with authority about the genre as a whole. Her latest article focuses specifically on introducing the genre to polytheistic practitioners, but it’s an equally informative and interesting read for any dark ambient fan. You can read her article here. You can also find out more about The Black Stone Hermitage here.

Flesh of the Void is an upcoming experimental horror film by the indie company Sodom & Chimera. Aiming to finish production in May of 2017, Flesh of the Void should be making its way to theatres before too long.

Stalker, the sci-fi classic by Andrei Tarkovsky, is given a second life as a fully restored re-release in The Criterion Collection.

Twin Peaks has a new trailer available in preparation for the third season of this cult masterpiece, created by David Lynch and Mark Frost way back in the early 1990s. The new season will premiere on Showtime on 21 May 2017 at 9PM EST.

Darkrad has released her new book / compilation combo entitled King In The Thicket. Darkrad presents haunting short stories and fairy tales in her first book. The accompanying compilation sets the perfect mood for late night readings of her tales.

Weekly Specials

Cyclic Law
Both books by Krist Mort released through Cyclic Press are now on sale. Tera is 50% off, while Inlumaeh book/cd combo featuring Lamia Vox is 25% off! Both books can be found here.

Deep Audio
This week Deep Audio features Samadhi State by Inade as their €5 bargain. You can purchase this highly acclaimed album here.

This Is Darkness Week In Review

PhonothekRed Moon – Review
Red Moon takes all the best elements of Lost In Fog and doubles down on them. They leave behind the aspects that didn’t seem to fit their style as well. For many artists of all genres, the sophomore release is always the best indication of their longevity. Will they hone their skills further, tapping into a wealth of ideas and talents, or will they stall, grasping for new ideas where there is little left to be found? Phonothek clearly fit the latter, and they seem to be set on a path of excellence which won’t fade anytime soon.
Read full review here.

MebitekArt Has No Diplomacy – Review
In such a simultaneously advanced yet bleak period of human history, Mebitek is an artist that fully embraces the contradiction. Art Has No Diplomacy is certainly not your average dark ambient album, often leaving that genre classification entirely. Yet, thematically and cinematically the sounds should be welcome to the ears of many dark ambient fans. Mebitek provides us with an original take on the fringe elements of ambient and electronic genres, paving his own path. Enjoy Art Has No Diplomacy in those moments of despair or cynicism when the mind needs something more than gentle field recordings and drones.
Read full review here.

Black Wanderer Hostile Territory – Review
Hostile Territory is a welcome addition to an already impressive catalog from this artist. It provides us with a totally fresh set of ideas from its creator. There are likely many more directions that Black Wanderer can be taken in the future. The focus on these older alien-influenced sci-fi films doesn’t necessarily have to stay as the primary subject matter for Black Wanderer to keep its template and hold the attention of listeners. While technically it isn’t quite as innovative as the latest Stuzha album, it still holds a great deal of emotion and interesting content.
Read full review here.

Psionic AsylumComa – Review
The album is a solid and consistent work giving just enough ritualistic tones to fit the discography of Noctivagant, yet it holds its own character, stands apart from its brethren as an unique album in a sea of uniformity. Psionic Asylum incorporates a little bit of many different variations of dark ambient on Coma, giving it a value to a highly diverse set of listeners. Fans of cinematic, drone and ritual ambient styles should all find reasons to enjoy Coma. It is nice to see Noctivagant keeping their standards high while simultaneously taking risks with lesser known projects.
Read full review here.

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Atrox Pestis – Self-Titled – Review

Artist: Atrox Pestis
Album: Self-Titled
Release date: 25 November 2016
Label: Maniacal Hatred

01. With Seven Tongues He Spoke
02. Tourniquet (Live in Minneapolis)

Atrox Pestis is the blackened dark ambient side-project of Grant Richardson, best known for his death industrial work as Gnawed. Through the Gnawed project, we are used to hearing an intricate and disturbing blend of decrepit industrial noises coming from the deep recesses and forgotten districts of his city. Richardson is known for incorporating field recordings, collected from just such places. So it wasn’t a stretch for him to branch out into the dark ambient genre for the self-titled Atrox Pestis album.

Atrox Pestis is a natural evolution from Gnawed. Richardson already had plenty of dark and brooding passages on his latest Gnawed album, the brilliantly executed Pestilence Beholden. With Atrox Pestis we get a lot more of a good thing. The sounds are cavernous, subterranean ventures. They are complex with a vast array of sounds displayed.

“With Seven Tongues He Spoke” is based in a hollow and lightly rumbling drone. It is decorated with a plethora of industrial noises, metal clanging, blood-curdling metallic grinding noises and even more layers of the hollowed-out drone work, much of which appears to be based in field recordings as opposed to synthesizers. As the track progresses we are presented with a quasi-religious element. There is a voice chanting drawn out and malign notes. This description must sound much like something from raison d’être. Yet, the sounds produced here have a defined originality, using some similar elements, but to a totally unique manifestation.

The flip-side of this release, “Tourniquet” also comes in at roughly 20 minutes, like “With Seven Tongues He Spoke”. While the first track was a studio production, this half is taken from a live performance in Minneapolis. My initial reaction was one of skepticism. Live tracks can often provide a mediocre addition to physical releases. But, here the track sounds just as well executed and polished as its other half.

“Tourniquet” follows much the same framework as “With Seven Tongues He Spoke”. There are numerous field recordings and drones. But this track takes on a bit more aggressive nature. There is a prominent droning noise, which sounds like it could as easily be a bass guitar as a synthesizer. At some points it screams with feedback, but never to a level of irksomeness. Through the progression of the track we again here the chanting vocals, giving the entirety of the album a sort of irreligious vibe.

Placing these semi-religious elements among the industrial squalor leaves the listener with an impression of some post-apocalyptic death cult. A group of desperate and filthy heathens who have lost all sense of hope in their old god, now searching for ones that can show them real results. Their grimy faces cast ahead, absorbing the heresy of their wretched new faith. Incense clouds the rotting cathedral, giving them a brief departure from the putrid smells of this cancerous and dying  civilization. The future seems particularly bleak, which is clearly the impression Atrox Pestis intends to convey.

This self titled album was originally released on a limited lathe 12″ but is now re-released as a C45 cassette, through Richardson’s label, Maniacal Hatred. While the cassette is already sold out from Maniacal Hatred, as of this publication there were still some copies to be found on Malignant Records mailorder page. The digital version can be purchased indefinitely through the Maniacal Hatred Bandcamp page.

The debut of Richardson’s dark ambient project is overall a brilliant composition. Both tracks fit within a similar framework to keep a consistent atmosphere throughout the album. I wonder if this is the first or only album by Atrox Pestis. I would be happy to hear a proper full length release under this moniker. Richardson plainly took caution and executed this release with precision, unlike many dark ambient releases which seem to be emotionless and futile. I would recommend this album especially to listeners that enjoy their dark ambient on the slightly harsher and more industrial side. Death-industrial fans will surely find much to love here as well. We can only hope the future of this project has more to offer on this caliber of craftsmanship.

Written by: Michael Barnett

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Post-Apocalyptic World – Dark Ambient/Death Industrial Mix

Post-Apocalyptic World is a maelstrom of dark and decaying soundscapes. Just as the world will become, so is this mix filled with drastically changing dynamics. One moment the utter silences of dark ambient, the next a raging beast of death industrial noise. Not for the faint of heart. Put on your gas masks and enter the storm..

01.  0:00:00 Mulm – Leave Unseen
02. 0:04:10 Daghraven – De Tand Des Tijds
03. 0:10:00 Atrium Carceri – 200 Days
04. 0:15:00 Sun Through Eyelids – The Dead City
05. 0:20:10 Aegri Somnia – Endtime Psalms
06. 0:24:50 Fear-Modern-Man – Illuminati Revelata
07. 0:29:10 Kolhoosi 13 – Rainout
08. 0:33:30 Monocube – Drowned Sun
09. 0:37:30 Apocryphos, Kammarheit, Atrium Carceri – The Dead Fire
10. 0:43:50 Council of Nine – Ashes
11. 0:49:00 Shock Frontier – Kessler’s Syndrome
12. 0:54:30 Sophia – Nothing There, Nothing Left
13. 0:57:20 Abjection Ritual & Teeth Engraved – To Live, And Spite Them By Living
14. 1:06:35 Tertium Organum – End
15. 1:12:10 Atrium Carceri – Decrepit City
16. 1:15:35 Sielwolf & Nam-Khar – Failed States
17. 1:21:20 Gnawed – Nil But Rot
18. 1:26:30 Aderlating – The Sword Of Christ
19. 1:33:35 Steel Hook Prostheses – Piss Prophet
20. 1:39:20 Trepaneringsritualen – Judas Goat
21. 1:42:40 Theologian & Shock Frontier – Guabancex
22. 1:53:40 Hymnambulae – Syskonsalen
23. 1:58:45 Randal Collier-Ford – Decaying Sun
24. 2:06:05 Druha Smrt – Reversion To Thirteen
25. 2:18:55 Sabled Sun – A World Emptied

Dødsmaskin – Fullstendig Brent – Review

Artist: Dødsmaskin
Album title: Fullstendig Brent
Release date: March 24 2017
Label: Malignant Records

01. Båldom (Fire Verdict)
02. Heksetimen (The Witching Hour)
03. Christoffer Orning
04. De Ti – 1621 (The Ten – 1621)
05. Dømt På Sitt Liv Til Ild Og Bål (Sentenced to Death by Flame and Pyre)

, meaning “death machine” in English, is a Norwegian post-industrial / drone act by Peter Vindel and Kjetil Ottersen. They self-released a digital album in 2015 entitled, Ingenting (“nothing” in English). On that debut they showed a lot of promise and a general sense of talent in the noisier side of drone music. But their physical debut on Malignant Records, Fullstendig Brent (Completely Burnt; Holocaust) takes them into some amazingly complex territory. This is one of those rare gems in which utterly chaotic noises are able to mingle perfectly with the serenity of dark ambient. This album could fit into many categories, post-industrial, drone, dark ambient, death industrial, power electronics. Indeed, there is a bit of all these genres presented here.

dodsmaskin_biopicThis album will be particularly pleasing to anyone with a love for the darkest days of history. The inner panel of the digipak consists of one sentence, “Djevelhorer Skal Brennes – Martin Luther (1537)” This can be translated to English as “devil whores be burned.” It is a fitting preparation for the onslaught of soundscapes presented within. Fullstendig Brent takes us on a deeply cinematic journey back in time to the 17th century in the northern parts of Norway, specifically to the fortress of Vardøhus in Vardø, the center of Norwegian Finnmark. This fortress would play the stage to a particularly dark and brutal period of history. We are taken here at a time when witch trials were being carried out around the western world. Each track on Fullstendig Brent gives us a glimpse into various times during these proceedings.

“Båldom” stands as an introduction to these nightmares. It is translated to English as “Verdict of Fire”, an allusion to the preferred method of dispensing of witches once their guilt was proven. “Båldom” is a perfect example of what to expect from Fullstendig Brent. The track starts with the sounds of a raging fire. A beautiful, if melancholic, loop of drone-work takes the forefront. It truly sounds majestic in its sense of foreboding. After this goes on for a short period of time we are cast into the fires, where our sins may be purged, before the eyes of the faithful. It is a descent into a truly cacophonous noise. Yet, with the brilliant talents akin to Jarl or Steel Hook Prostheses, these sounds never lose their focus. It is a perfect execution of brilliant noises.

dodsmaskin_historie der martelarenThe cinematic edge is taken to an even more obvious place on “Christoffer Orning”, named after a notorious district governor responsible for the majority of deaths of innocent women and children. The track starts out with prayers being begged in unison by the demented congregation. After they give their blessings, the witches are allowed to burn for their sins. As the beating industrial noises completely overtake our senses, it’s easy to imagine these so-called witches perishing in the most horrible way imaginable. Their body slowly roasting on the pyre, they shriek in utter despair soon followed by the sobbing of this unlucky female victim, attempting to alleviate some of the pain as she begins to smell her flesh being cooked, long before losing consciousness or dying.

Each track on the album goes through these ups and downs of subtle preparation followed by industrially induced terror. The true beauty of the music is that at no point do the sounds become overwhelming. They perfectly play their role, dragging the listener so close to the action that they will undoubtedly have their minds filled with the images of these brutal acts of Christian fanaticism. Part of the praise for this feat should be given to the mastering talents of Rafael Anton Irisarri working his magic from the Black Knoll Studio in New York. Equal thanks can be given to the brilliant artwork of Sense:Versus on the digipak. The front cover adorned in a minimalistic fashion with the Dødsmaskin logo, set behind a single leap of flames. The digipak is textured, with a rustic border, giving it the impression of an old worn leather book, possibly even bound in human flesh.

Dødsmaskin clearly paid the utmost attention to detail on Fullstendig Brent, which is undeniably present throughout the entirety of the album. There is never a moment wasted, each second holds our attention with its simultaneous beauty and ugliness. I would especially recommend this album to fans of cinematic dark ambient who also enjoy some noisier genres like death industrial or power electronics. Yet, there is really no reason to warn off others. This album is a miraculously well prepared example of how music can go above and beyond genre labels. While it may be significantly harsher than many listeners are used to, it should be a welcome novelty, a way to truly appreciate what is behind the thoughts of many musicians of the post-industrial scene. Many of them could surely learn a thing or two from Dødsmaskin.

Written by: Michael Barnett

The Ides of March – Dark Ambient & Death Industrial Mix

Beware, The Ides of March! A dark ambient & death industrial mix honoring the day of Julius Caesar’s assassination. The death of Caesar in 44 BCE made the Ides of March a turning point in Roman history, as one of the events that marked the transition from the historical period known as the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire.

01. 0:00:00 Apocryphos, Kammarheit, Atrium Carceri – “In An Arched World
02. 0:06:10 Aegri Somnia – “Mundus Moriens”
03. 0:11:50 Lamia Vox – “The Prophecy”
04. 0:17:45 Monocube – “Initiation” (feat. Asmorod)
05. 0:22:40 AFFECTVS & Lamia Culta – “Ventus Mortuus”
06. 0:28:30 Cities Last Broadcast – “Deadpost”
07. 0:31:30 Desiderii Marginis – “I Tell The Ancient Tale”
08. 0:36:30 Herbst9 – “Purifying Ceremony”
09. 0:40:50 Wolves and Horses – “Procession”
10. 0:46:45 Paul Minesweeper – “Clarions of Arrival”
11. 0:51:30 Coph’antae Tryr – “Nothing to Near”
12. 0:55:10 Gnawed – “The Hand That Feeds”
13. 1:03:10 The Vomit Arsonist – “Blood”
14. 1:06:55 Council of Nine – “Fallen”
15. 1:12:45 Phragments – “Into Nothing”
16. 1:18:30 Kammarheit – “The Excavation Site”
17. 1:27:10 Flowers For Bodysnatchers – “Where The Carcass Lies”
18. 1:36:05 SiJ & Item Caligo – “So Terrible to Contemplate”
19. 1:41:30 Apocryphos – “Clandestine” (feat. Kave)

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